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Force Touch on the iPhone 6s will be next level, might be called a ‘3D Touch Display’

Published Sep 5th, 2015 6:35PM EDT
iPhone 6s Force Touch

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It’s widely believed that one of the tentpole features on Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6s will be a Force Touch display. Originally implemented on the Apple Watch and later on Apple’s MacBook, an iPhone with a Force Touch display would be able to gauge the level of pressure a user is applying when using the device.

While Force Touch functionality on the MacBook is somewhat stunted, its implementation on the iPhone will likely open up all sorts of exciting and new avenues for user interaction.

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Now comes word via 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman that Force Touch on the iPhone may be a whole lot more impressive than initially believed and much more capable than current implementations on the Apple Watch and the MacBook.

While the MacBook trackpads and Apple Watch sense two levels of pressure, the differentiation between a tap and a press, the new iPhones will actually sense three levels of pressure: a tap, a press, and a deeper press, according to sources.

To differentiate this more advanced version of Force Touch, Gurman relays that Apple will likely call the technology a 3D Touch Display. While nothing is 100% official until we see Tim Cook walk up on stage and announce it, 3D Touch Display does have a much better ring to it than Force Touch.

Though no specific details are listed, Gurman writes that this souped up version of Force Touch will enable developers to “create new types of games” that were previously not possible to make.

As for practical implementations of a pressure sensitive display, Gurman previously disclosed that we can expect to see apps like Apple Maps and Apple Music take advantage of new UI options.

As an illustrative example, users in Apple Maps might be able to initiate a deep press on a dropped pin and instantly activate turn-by-turn directions.

Encapsulating a few more examples, the following concept video highlights how a Force Touch enabled display could make using iOS a much more intuitive and efficient experience.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.